Occasionally, mistakes are made - and when they are, patients have a right to seek compensation.
A woman in her 30s suffered a severe allergic reaction after she was prescribed a medicine for a fungal nail infection by her GP.
Shortly after taking the medicine she developed a rash on her body. But when she returned to her GP, she was assured her condition was not related to the prescription and was given aqueous cream for the outbreak.
Despite the rash spreading further, her GP said she should continue to take the medicine.
She visited an out-of-hours service on a bank holiday Monday and was seen by a nurse who also dismissed concerns that the rash was a reaction to the medicine. However, within a couple of days, the rash covered her entire body, leaving her so unwell that she collapsed and was taken by hospital by ambulance.
She spent two weeks in hospital, during which time doctors diagnosed her as having a severe allergic reaction to the medicine prescribed by the GP. The client also suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and was left with a scar on her lip and inside her mouth from where she hit her face when she collapsed.
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Gotelee were instructed to advise her on a claim for damages against both the GP and the out-of-hours service on the basis that she should not have been prescribed the medicine in the first place (it was established that she did not have a fungal nail infection that required treatment) and she should have been told to stop taking the medicine as soon as the rash appeared.
We obtained experts reports to confirm that it had been negligent for the prescription to have been given and for her to have been told to continue to take the medicine. As the claim progressed, we were able to assist the client in obtaining early treatment for her PTSD.
Despite the evidence we had gathered, both defendants denied they had been negligent in the treatment of the client. As a result, we had to issue a claim in the County Court. The GP surgery and the out-of-hours surgery both filed defences denying any wrongdoing at all and sought to blame each other with a view to prolonging the claim.
However, we were certain that both defendants had been negligent and that both had contributed to the client’s detioriation and collapse.
We continued gathering further evidence while at the same time seeking to negotiate a settlement that would bring the matter to a conclusion. Ultimately, the defendants agreed to pay the claimant £30,000 plus the costs of the claim and the matter was settled without the need for further court proceedings.
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